by Emma Slater
Eneco, the project developers behind the proposed offshore wind park off the Dorset and Hampshire coasts and to the west of the Isle of Wight, today (18 February 2011) announced their preferred location for the wind park to be positioned.
Wind turbine - RYA
Following a year-long investigation of a 279 square mile of seabed awarded to Eneco by The Crown Estate to identify the most suitable place to locate the wind park, an area of 76 square miles approximately 8.2 miles from Peveril Point in Swanage, 10.2 miles from Bournemouth and 8.4 miles south west of The Needles and the Isle of Wight coast has been chosen.
'Eneco’s announcement confirms that they have identified their preferred development area within the West of Wight Round 3 Zone. At this stage, however, Eneco has not produced any detailed plans as to how many turbines are proposed or how they might be laid out within this area', commented Caroline Price, RYA Planning and Environmental Advisor.
The RYA met with Eneco last May to discuss concerns about the West of Wight zone, and explained the importance of the area for recreational boating and emphasised how busy this area is for both recreational and commercial vessel traffic.
'Navigation through operational windfarms should not create significant additional risks for recreational boaters, however we are concerned that the preferred development area as confirmed by Eneco is poorly located from a wider navigational perspective' continued Caroline.
The RYA has arranged further meetings with Eneco to discuss the detail of the proposed development and to re-emphasise concerns over Eneco’s preferred location. It is understood that Eneco is keen to engage directly with clubs and training centres in the local area and the RYA would therefore encourage interested groups to attend the information days being held by Eneco around the Solent and to register their individual concerns and comments directly with Eneco.
Public information days to hear more about the Zone Appraisal and Planning (ZAP) process and the location of the wind park will be held on the following days:
· Weymouth: Pavilion Theatre – Wednesday 16th March 2011
· Poole: RNLI Lifeboat College – Thursday 17th March 2011
· Newport, Isle of Wight: Quay Arts Centre – Wednesday 23rd March 2011
· Lymington: Lymington Community Centre – Thursday 24th March 2011
· Christchurch: Regent Centre – Friday 25th March 2011
· Bournemouth: Pavilion Theatre – Wednesday 30th March 2011
· Swanage: Mowlem Theatre – Thursday 31st March 2011